The owners of mammoth tusks or 18th century manuscripts will be able to report themselves on a website launched on Wednesday by the Dordogne authorities, in an "out of the ordinary" case of theft and concealment of thousands of works of art.

Started 14 months ago after the theft of a safe in Bergerac, this ongoing investigation, which required nearly 50 searches in the agglomeration, led to the discovery of 7,000 works of art and collections "at fraudulent origin "(ivories, silver ingots, Asian arts, sculpted boat bow, machine guns from the Second World War, etc.) hidden in "well-appointed caches" in hangars, detailed Wednesday the Bergerac public prosecutor Sylvie Martins-Guedès, the Périgueux judicial police and the Bergerac police station.

Three people charged

The total value of these objects has been assessed, "in a low range", at 700,000 euros by a college of experts, the highest remaining a sculpted mammoth tusk, estimated at 10,000 euros, detailed Sylvie Martins-Guedès.

With the new site (, aggrieved owners will be able to report themselves by directly sending proof (photos, certificates) of their links with the seized objects, allowing a "first filter “Identification of victims in this” extraordinary “investigation on facts ranging from 2015 to 2021, explained the investigators.

Several victims "based in France" have already been identified, said the prosecution, adding that the search for other victims had "no geographical limit".

Three people, a 63-year-old man, numismatist, his 61-year-old wife and their 26-year-old son, were indicted for theft, aggravated money laundering, unauthorized possession of weapons and concealed work, detailed the prosecution.

The three suspects own several businesses in the region and have been placed under judicial supervision.

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